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Breaking News Alert House Speaker Kills Effort To Stop The Feds From Spying On Americans Without A Warrant

House Approves Four-Month Extension Of Feds’ Warrantless Spying On Americans

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House lawmakers permitted a four-month extension of warrantless surveillance through the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) on Thursday.

The lower chamber voted 310-118 to pass the annual national-defense bill after the Senate approved the legislation Wednesday. Slipped into the measure was a reauthorization of the federal government’s warrantless spying on American citizens known as Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). The 2008 law allows federal intelligence agencies to conduct warrantless surveillance that’s ostensibly limited to foreign nationals but has been routinely abused to surveil American citizens. The controversial law will now bypass significant reform for another four months through the NDAA.

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, criticized the extension in a Blaze op-ed on Monday, writing, “The FBI has used Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to conduct warrantless ‘backdoor’ searches of the private electronic communications of American citizens. It has done so, moreover, not just sporadically and by accident but quite deliberately and on hundreds of thousands of occasions.”

The FBI abused the federal spy program to conduct surveillance on the Trump campaign, but the government’s abuses extend far beyond presidential opponents and into the lives of ordinary American citizens.

Former Acting Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell wrote to lawmakers on X, formerly known as Twitter, “You won’t be allowed to say you understand the abuses of the FBI if you vote to reauthorize the current FISA program.”

On Monday, 46 former national security officials signed a letter urging Capitol Hill to rubber-stamp an extension of Section 702, which was set to expire Dec. 31.

“As you well know, our nation is under significant threat today with wars in Europe and the Middle East, a potential conflict with China in the Indo-Pacific, and the deadly flow of fentanyl across our southern border,” they wrote. “In these circumstances, we cannot hamstring the U.S. Intelligence Community either by failing to renew Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act or by limiting it in ways that would make it difficult for the government to protect Americans.”

Four of the statement’s signatories also signed the infamous letter to Politico in the fall of 2020 aiming to discredit the Hunter Biden laptop as an artifact of Russian disinformation. Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former Deputy Director for the National Security Agency (NSA) Richard Ledgett, former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Acting Director Michael Morell, and former CIA Chief of Staff Jeremy Bash each put their names on both. Morell was a campaign surrogate for President Biden in the 2020 election and “admitted he drafted and circulated the letter to give Joe Biden a talking point to use during a 2020 presidential debate against then-President Donald Trump.”

House Republicans are now investigating whether the October 2020 letter was a CIA operation. Last week, House Republican Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan sent a letter to CIA Director William Burns demanding to know who, if any, of the 51 former intelligence officials who signed the Biden laptop letter were paid by the agency.

“We understand that former intelligence officials often return to the intelligence community under private contract for their previous agencies,” Jordan wrote. “It is vital to the Committees’ oversight to understand whether any of the signatories of the public statement were actively employed by CIA as contractors or consultants at the time they signed the public statement.”

Burns has until Friday to respond.


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